Importance of Vocational Education
Vocational education is vital in Bangladesh as it equips individuals with job-specific skills, reducing unemployment, fostering economic growth, and addressing the skills gap in key industries. This hands-on approach to education ultimately empowers the workforce and bolsters development. In today’s rapidly changing global economy, Bangladesh faces a critical challenge: developing a skilled workforce capable of meeting the demands of emerging industries and ensuring sustainable economic growth. Many young people find themselves ill-equipped for the job market, as traditional academic education often falls short in providing the practical skills needed to succeed in the workplace. Vocational education focuses on equipping students with the practical skills and knowledge needed to excel in specific industries. By doing so, it helps to bridge the gap between education and the requirements of the job market. By offering specialized training in high-demand sectors, vocational education can help to reduce unemployment and underemployment rates among graduates. A study conducted by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics revealed that the unemployment rate among vocational graduates was only 9.3%, compared to 15.2% for general graduates. Vocational education empowers individuals to start their own businesses by providing them with the necessary skills and knowledge. Vocational education plays a vital role in providing equal opportunities for women and marginalized communities to enhance their skills and become self-reliant. In Bangladesh, around 30% of the students in vocational institutions are women, and 11% belong to marginalized communities. Skilled workforce as a driving force for the economy: A skilled workforce contributes to increased productivity, innovation, and competitiveness, ultimately driving economic growth and development. While the importance of vocational education in Bangladesh has been widely acknowledged, it is crucial to recognize that this form of education is not just about acquiring practical skills for the job market. Rather, it serves as a powerful catalyst for social change and a brighter future.
Vocational education means learning to change one’s behavior to enhance the quality of life through work and values, without or along with formal schooling. If the learning through the vocational approach enhances self-employment and economic productivity of the people then the war against poverty can be fought and conquered in a constructive way. Vocational education can play a vital role to improve their standard of life and to help them participate in national development. Many countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines have got a lot of economic benefits through Vocational Education (VE). So it has been proved that economic implications of Vocational Education are many, particularly for a country which has a vast population of adult illiterates. So the time has come for us to find out the role of vocational education in poverty reduction. We also need to identify measures to make VE more effective in poverty reduction. Vocational education is basically life and need based education which can convert an un- skilled inexperienced and illiterate population into human resources, formal education system, because of its rigid chronologically graded structure and inflexible nature excludes the poor from its advantages. In this circumstance as the alternative of formal-education (FE) it is very much necessary to evaluate vocational education so that we can determine the extent of its success and weakness at any stage of poverty reduction as it is considered the best way to bring about longer lasting socio- economic change and self development. Vocational education programs focus on the acquisition of appropriate skills, abilities and competencies as necessary equipment for the individual to live in adapt to the real work situation and contribute to the development of his society. It assists all young people to secure their own future by enhancing their transition to a lot of opportunities after school. Vocational education can be seen as an aspect of education which utilizes scientific knowledge in the acquisition of practical and applied skill in the solution of technical problems. It is the process of acquiring attitude, knowledge, competencies relating to occupations in various factors of economics and social life. It has also been described as the education that prepares students mainly for occupations requiring manipulative skills and is designed to develop skills, abilities, understanding, attitude and work habits needed for useful and productive basis. This can provide employment for its recipients and important practical skill development program designed to equip persons of trainable qualities with skills that employers of labor want in the industries, in fact, it is considered as the launching pad for technological development.